Sports Out West

NBA Offseason 2014: Will the Cavaliers regret re-signing Lebron James?

LBJ II

On the surface LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers seems like a huge win for the organization.  He gives the team instant credibility.  The team will likely sell out all of its home games.  The city’s prodigal son has returned.

All the above statements are true, but further examination may determine that Cleveland may regret this decision.

It seems crazy that a team could regret signing the best player in the world. However, that is not all they got when they signed James.  Although his title may simply be starting small forward, he is the de facto president of operations for the Cavaliers.  James signing a two-year contract was a clear sign that if the Cavaliers don’t subject themselves to the King’s wishes, he will walk away again.   

James is a great player but he wants control over the personnel around him.  That is a slippery slope.  First off, players tend to want to put together fantasy teams that don’t mesh well on the court.  Michael Jordan often wanted Jerry Krause to make trades, many of them for fellow North Carolina Tar Heels.  Luckily for the Chicago Bulls, Krause ignored Jordan.  One of his most famous requests was that the Bulls needed to select Joe Wolf in the 1987 draft.  Wolf went on to have a 12-year career, a career in which he averaged 4.2 points and 3.3 rebounds.   

Players always think they have better answers than management.  Management is not always right, but players tend to be extremely shortsighted when it comes to decision making.

Right now the Cavaliers are under pressure to get Kevin Love to pair with James.  In theory Love would make the Cavaliers favorites in the Eastern Conference.  The problem is, at what cost? 

Andrew Wiggins will likely have to be a part of any deal made to get Love.  While Love averages a double-double, no one knows how he will react to the pressure of the playoffs because he has never been.  Added to the problem with giving up too soon on the No. 1 overall pick Wiggins is the fact the Minnesota Timberwolves would want draft picks as well. 

As the Cavaliers are made up right now they could grow into a dominant team in a couple years.  They also have a few draft picks next season that could give them tremendous depth to their roster.  Does it make sense to give up the flexibility of growth in the future for a maybe?  Not to mention, the team would be crazy to make the trade if Love isn’t willing to sign an extension right away. 

Another possible problem the Cavaliers face is that James’ agent is also the agent to Tristan Thompson.  When an agent has a star player on a team and another client, the agent uses the leverage of the star to get their other client a better deal. 

Grantland.com mentioned it was widely speculated that the Houston Rockets allowed Chandler Parsons out of his one-year deal early because he has the same agent as Dwight Howard.  Houston could’ve kept Parsons and his salary this season would have been under $1 million.  Now, he is a member of the Dallas Mavericks. 

While Thompson has shown some flashes, how much money should be thrown at a guy who averages 11 points and 9 rebounds? 

All that added to the fact that Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving already have chemistry issues.  Waiters tweeting out today that he is not willing to come off the bench was like adding water to a grease fire.  He deleted the original tweet but here is a follow up.

 

If Waiters thinks he is fighting for minutes now, just wait. According to ESPN.com the Cavaliers agreed to terms with Mike Miller.  Ray Allen is probably next on that list.  Are James and a rookie coach going to be able to navigate through chemistry issues? Can James really trust Dan Gilbert? 

Right now, everything in Cleveland is pure joy.  What happens if this does not all go according to plan?  In two seasons, will there be heartbreak again in Cleveland?  Cleveland must be honest with itself and admit if James and the Heat three-peat as NBA Champions he is probably not a member of the Cavaliers right now.  What happens if in two years the team has not gotten past the second round?  

 James is the Victor Newman (Young and the Restless) of the NBA.  He is the most powerful man in the league.  Like Newman, James swoops people off their feet and everything starts off great, but the problem is those relationships usually end in divorce. 

For Cleveland’s sake, I hope this works out.  If he were to leave again, it would be worse than Art Modell taking away the Cleveland Browns.  

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

The following two tabs change content below.

Keenan Actkins

Keenan Actkins is an Arizona resident living in the Phoenix metropolitan area. He brings a wealth of sports knowledge and passion to the team with his unique insight and strong voice and opinion. He also contributes to Yahoo! Voices and has written for WoodyPaige.com.
  • Brian Alpert

    Alright, sorry, but this is a very silly article which has obviously been written by someone with absolutely no sources close to the situation and based purely off of speculation. A disclaimer that says “This article is based purely off of opinion and has no factual base whatsoever” would be appropriate.

    Lets start with the most hilarious comment, which is the basis for the entire article-
    “James signing a two-year contract was a clear sign that if the Cavaliers don’t subject themselves to the King’s wishes, he will walk away again.”

    Ummmm…… no…… this is a clear sign that the NBA CBA is subject to changes in 2 years, raising the max contracts of all NBA players as a part of increased television revenue. Nice try, though. But, you probably didn’t know much about the CBA, right?

    Also, do you have any idea how much easier it is for the Cavs to sign players if James opts out, and then resigns the day after they sign a free agent? It is a HUGE difference on cap. Not a requirement of your job to understand this, right?

    Now let us move on to the next display of ignorance-
    “Right now the Cavaliers are under pressure to get Kevin Love to pair with James.” Ummmm……. no they are not. Not at all. They have Kyrie ocked up, they have Wiggins locked up (who is already a better defender than Love), they 1st round picks out the wazoo to trade in the future, and the x-factor which ties into my destruction of your next failed point.

    “Although his title may simply be starting small forward, he is the de facto president of operations for the Cavaliers” – Not even close to true, and based purely on speculation by you. And, between this and the “pressure to get love” garbage you spew, you completely fail to see the fact that players now want to come to play with Lebron because he is the best player on the planet. So, he makes the GM look great while making Cleveland a preferred destination. Defacto that, dude.

    I though you were done displaying your complete ignorance over the entire situation, but you threw in one more- “For Cleveland’s sake, I hope this works out. If he were to leave again, it would be worse than Art Modell taking away the Cleveland Browns.” Wow, now you have shown that not only have no cources in Cleveland, but that you actually don’t even know anyone from Cleveland. Moreover, you showed the the true motivations behind your spew. You hate Lebron, you hate that he is in Cleveland, and you don’t have anything to write about.

    Truly horrible journalism.